Questions

Question 1. What, according to Lyon, has caused the intensification of surveillance?

The emergence of new threats contributed to the accelerated development of surveillance and expansion of surveillance. According to Lyon, one of the major drivers of the intensification of surveillance became the growing threat of international terrorism. In fact, the rise of international terrorism in the late 1990s – early 2000s became a serious challenge to the public safety in the US as well as other countries of the world. The terror attacks on 9/11 revealed the full extent, to which law enforcement agencies were unprepared for the terrorist threat. In response to the new threat, the development of the new effective system of the national security was essential. In this regard, the enhancement and intensification of surveillance was one of the major responses to the new threat because the intensification of surveillance could have enhanced law enforcement agencies and their anti-terrorist operations. At any rate, the intensification of surveillance opened larger opportunities for collection of information that could be relevant to terror organizations and their plans.

The intensification of surveillance allowed law enforcement agencies to survey suspicious individuals and conduct investigations more effectively. In fact, the intensification of surveillance has had a positive impact on the performance of law enforcement agencies in terms of the prevention of threats to public safety, including the threat of terrorism. At the same time, the intensification of surveillance facilitates the process of investigation. Therefore, even if law enforcement agencies failed to prevent crimes or terror attacks, it was easier for them to investigate crimes and terror attacks to find criminals and terrorists. In such a way, the threat of international terrorism boosted the emergence of surveillance, although, today, surveillance become excessive to the extent that it may limit human rights and liberties, such as the right to privacy.

Question 2. How is the change related to the concept of risk?

In such a context, the concept of risk has started to change because the concept has to be expanded to incorporate new threats that may accompany the risk the public may be exposed to. What is meant here is the fact that the concept of risk became more complex and more controversial at the same time. In fact, the concept of risk enrolled new threats, which became more challenging than threats that existed in the past. For instance, the emergence of terrorism became an invisible but real threat, which people were often unaware of. Therefore, there was and still is a persistent risk of terror attacks that wreak havoc in the society. In such a situation, people grow more and more interested in securing their position and maintenance of the public safety to eliminate existing threats and risk at all costs. In such a situation, the intensification of surveillance becomes an effective tool of protection of the society from the threat of terror attacks. However, the risk of terror attacks persists, whereas the emergence of new aspects of risk raised another problem – the risk of the violation of human rights and liberties. For instance, the intensification surveillance affects the right of individuals to privacy. Therefore, the question concerning the measures used to prevent risks arises. The question is whether the risk prevention is worth human rights and liberties.